By Clark Stork, northeastNOW
As lovebirds prepare to shower their significant others with affection this Valentine’s Day, one Northeast Saskatchewan village spreads love around the world.
Postmaster Connie Black-Sturby said the village of Love, Sask. has become famous for its stamps.
Pauline and Dale McKinnon created a teddy bear stamp 24 years ago, which became Canada Post’s first ever mail cancellation stamp to feature a picture. Four years ago, Black-Sturby went to Ottawa to assist in the creation of a heart stamp, and today every piece of mail that leaves the post office is stamped with one of the two images.
People often mail envelopes to the Love post office with self-addressed envelopes inside, Black-Sturby said, simply to receive the special stamps. She stamps the mail and sends it off to locations around Canada, and sometimes much further away.
“This year Ontario and British Columbia are my biggest ones coming in right now,” she told northeastNOW. “China is huge. They love sending stuff here. It’s absolutely amazing.”
The post office has received letters from the Czech Republic, Serbia, Turkey, and Peru, Black-Sturby said. She said people from France and Australia stopped at the post office over the Christmas holidays, hoping to receive a stamp.
Black-Sturby said she keeps a world map on the post office wall marking where they’ve received and sent mail. She said it’s almost overwhelming how far mail from the village has reached.
Valentine’s Day is a busy time of the year for Black-Sturby, as most people seek the Love stamp to mark the occasion.
Wedding invitations are popular as well; last year the post office received 576 invitations and 913 letters. The numbers have dropped over the years, but Black-Sturby said she hopes the tradition continues for years to come.
“It’s amazing, and I really hope this continues for a very long time,” she said.
An Ontario teacher of media arts has his class involved with the Love stamps as well. For the past four years the class has created postcards, which are sent to Love’s post office and forwarded to the addresses chosen by the students.